U.S. Opens Probe Into Possible Civil Rights Violations Of Florida’s Ban On Mask Mandates

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The U.S. Department of Education has launched an investigation into possible violations of disabled college students’ civil rights by Florida’s ban on college masks mandates, it knowledgeable the state on Friday.

The motion follows lawsuits against several states that had barred masks mandates. The fits, filed by dad and mom of scholars with disabilities, argue that permitting maskless lecturers and college students at faculties basically denies a public training to their kids as a result of it’s too dangerous for the notably susceptible inhabitants to attend.

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights is “opening a directed investigation” into whether or not the statewide ban on masks necessities in faculties “may be preventing school districts in the state from considering or meeting the needs of students with disabilities,” Suzanne Goldberg, the Education Department’s performing assistant secretary for civil rights, said in a letter to Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. 

The probe will “focus on whether, in light of this policy, students with disabilities who are at heightened risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are prevented from safely returning to in-person education, in violation of Federal law,” the letter famous.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s ban on masks mandates “may be preventing schools from making individualized assessments about mask use so that students with disabilities can attend school and participate in school activities in person, consistent with their right to receive a free appropriate public education and to be free from discrimination based on their disability,” the letter added. 

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona instructed The Hill that he has heard from dad and mom throughout the nation, particularly these of kids with disabilities, that state bans on “universal indoor masking are putting their children at risk and preventing them from accessing in-person learning equally.”

It’s “simply unacceptable that state leaders are putting politics over the health and education of the students they took an oath to serve,” he added.

The federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit disability-based discrimination and grant all college students the precise to a free and acceptable training. Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 additionally prohibits discrimination in public faculties.

Florida’s First District Court of Appeals reinstated DeSantis’s ban on college masks mandates on Friday after a Leon County circuit decide blocked the manager order. 

Several college districts have ignored the governor’s govt order banning masks mandates in an effort to defend the well being of employees members and college students.

Corcoran didn’t instantly return a request to remark from HuffPost.